Safety costs money, and in New Jersey right now, police officers and governing bodies are trying to figure out if they can sacrifice for safety's sake.
As layoffs become a real possibility for police departments across the state, both parties have different ideas of what safety and sacrifice mean, though. To avoid layoffs and maintain public safety, administrators say they need sacrifices in the name of pay freezes, furloughs, health-care contributions and other concessions.
Officers and their union representatives feel that governments are in search of a quick budget fix and are too willing to sacrifice public safety by laying off officers.
"It's a fact of life that when police aren't around, bad things will happen," said Cherry Hill patrolman Tim Tedesco, an FOP president and member of the Cherry Hill Police Officers Association.